My last safe post...I hope?
Originally I started cheap...then realized that 14 gauge and even 12 gauge arent gonna cut it. Some 12 gauge is hardened better than others US based heat treating can do wonders. I am a knife guy so I know this first hand! And multiple layers can also make a difference, But that is only one of the many reasons I decided to take a step back and rethink this. So now I have upped my speced and set some minimums in my search to find the right safe. I am hoping my post will help others as well. Would like to be under $1500
1) Size: 60x28x22 +/- and inch or two. I cant get much more room to spare in where I can put this safe. So this size is pretty much set. I think it will be suitable and I know you guys will knock this but dont have any plans to add to the collection. I have tons of other much higher priorities past this safe purchase to do with my cabbage at least over the next 2-5 years.
2) Steel thickness: The body needs to be 10 gauge at the least...this area is quite unbelievable to me because so many expensive safes I looked at like Browning, Liberty and so on are 12-11 gauge body steel and you are pushing the $1800-2500 mark in cost! I found safes made in the USA and other places that were 10-gauge or better at around 1100-1500. Even a Rhino 56 with is 1200 had a 10 gauge and a 1/4" solid plate steel door (more on that later). Sturdy was 7 gauge and it was 1400 shipped!!! Didnt include fire proofing but still! 7 gauge body...good luck with an axe or a sledge! I know 9 gauge repels a sledge and an axe pretty good. I have seen a 9 gauge safe take quite a few shots in the same spot with a fire axes and nothing happened! But again if one is really determined they could spend a ton of time and energy to eventually get in but the overwhelming majority wont!
3) Door thickness: Minimum would be a 1/4" solid plate steel. Composite doors are very deceiving. They are thick more so for the fireproofing as well as for the locking mechanism.
4) Locking bolts: Size is at least 1". Has to cover 4 sides, not necessarily active 4 sides for I dont understand the reason people dont like deadbolts on the hinge side! I would think they would be just as effective as live if not better for the mounting should be easier and tougher then a moving mechanism. I would think 3-4 per side and one on the top and bottom would be ideal!
5) Fire rating: I live in a suburb were the firestation is less then a mile away...make that 2 fire stations are less than a mile away. Would 30 mins cut it...yeah probably. But safe is going in the basement so might need to be more. We have a 2 story townhouse so the basement is where the ambers fall in a fire. it would be against a concrete wall but still. 30 is tha absolute minimum. Oh and if they are rated...they already have the expanding gasket!
6) Lock: S&G, Lagard, and a few others. I would actually like a combo over a digital. I know it is such a remote possibility but an EMP...and you no get into safey! Would I do an electronic..sure but prefer a combo
7) Warranty: This is the least of my worries so liberty and all the other guys...I could care less. I cant say I have heard much about then in a bad or good situation. The locks is what I hear can be an issue but every place I have spoken to...both locksmiths and Local Gun shops said they never hear of it...the smith said 99% of this issues with the locks is someone forgetting the combo!
8) Relockers: YES!
9) Pry-resistant: YES!
10) Hard Plate: You know the one behind lock to prevent drilling and so on. Almost all safes have this at the price level and companies I am considering it. So this isnt as big of a deal or something to look for. Same kinda goes with the relockers.
11) Door frame: Almost always overlooked. This is the structure that holds the locks in place doing an attack. Frame has to be thick and strong!
So here is what I have found that matches my above:
1) Sturdy Model 2723 ($1400 w/o Fire includes shipping):
Pros: Body steel is 7 gauge, Thick door, 5/16" plate steel on from of door, built like a Sherman tank!
Cons: UGLY!! , Handle is basic, need to spend 500 more for fireproofing
2) Steelwater HD593024 (1499 with shipping)
Pros: 9 gauge body steel, 1/4" plate steel door, 2 hour fire rating, Lock, door handle, attractive design, number of bolts and thickness of them, External Hinge to allow door to open more
Con: Origin of manufacturing, Steel origin??
3) Rhino 56 (1200 with shipping)
Pros: Price, warranty, service, Overall feature set is nice
Cons: It is at the minimum of all my categories and it is smaller than the others. But I still really like this safe. If it was 100 or so less it would be a better justification.
4) Zykan Eagle ZES 24 ($887 shipping not included)
Pros: Price, Price, Price, Good fire rating
Cons: It hits all my minimums, fairly unknown, origin of manufacturing and steel.
5) Diamond Back GS5930H ($1300 shipped)
Pros: Fire rating, Size, Hinges, Locks,
Cons: origin of manufacturing and stee, price considering what you get compared to others, fair unknown name
6) Pentagon/Sportsman Steel SF-2/Cadet/Special Agent (Price
Pros: Seem to be price, US Made,
Cons: Super confusing out of date websites, Why two companies??? Cant seem to know exactly what the price is nor shipping, didnt return calls and so on
7) Amsec BF6030 (1200 shipping not included)
Pros: Great name and great features, fit and finish, one of the most recommended safes I have considered, tons of locks and the locks are big 1.5", external hinge,
Cons: certain areas dont meet my mins body is 12 gauge, door isnt as thick, pricey for the specs (because of the name?) If I were to get a 12 gauge safe the best bang for the buck is the Champion model t!
Let me know what you guys think. Several on this list I have never seen nor heard much about so many are cause for concern. I like the Rhino and the Steelwater. Would do the sturdy but it get costly when you add the fireproofing, it is also ugly as sin...not that safes are nice to look at...they are a box but the nicer handles. Bet graphics, better colors...and so on! Sturdy could sell more than anyone else if they style it differently...dress it up!!! It is a tank and has all the fixings of the best safe of the pack but it is just flat out an eye soar!